Not really a bad discussion IMO. These women talk about what part is the Asperger’s and what part is just abuse and not Asperger’s. They are trying to separate their partner’s condition from their behavior than trying to blame the abuse on their Asperger’s.
I have wondered for the past year or more if abuse can be attributed from the Asperger’s. What I mean is a person with it doesn’t understand different perspectives and have a hard time understanding feelings so they could act cold towards their partner and be insensitive and not understand and not understand why their partner is upset or hurt or why they can’t take a joke. One NT member has written on Wrongplanet several times that her aspie husband (then undiagnosed) had beaten her during his meltdown and cops were called. How many times have I heard stories about autistic children being violent so they break stuff, hit others while having a meltdown so why would this be any different in adults? One mom wrote in her comments in that blog about her ASD son being willing to learn so that is the difference.
I think in NT/AS relationships, while AS is an explanation, it’s not a get out of free jail card for this behavior. Let’s say an aspie likes to joke around and be funny, the partner gets upset while he is joking while she is having a serious discussion so she tells him “I don’t like it when you make jokes and joke around and tease when I am having a serious discussion because it makes me feel you are disrespecting me and not taking me seriously and it really hurts my feelings” and the aspie can just apologize and try and not do it again whenever his wife is having a serious discussion and when she tells him to stop, he stops, not just keep on doing it. Or let’s say the aspie has a meltdown, he can remove himself from the room and not use his partner as a punching bag.
I think it comes down to personality and a learning attitude. AS children who have a learning attitude can be taught and learn well when given the tools to learn and AS adults can learn too but it might be harder for them if they were never taught because AS wasn’t known when they were children so they might not have been given the tools. But they would also need to have a learning attitude and be willing to change and not stuck in their ways.
Let’s say Jerry really did have Asperger’s. He was not willing to learn which is the difference. He was too stuck in his ways and seemed to be proud in his black and white thinking and it was obvious to me then he had no intention of learning and to change despite him saying how he wanted to be normal but yet he wasn’t doing anything about it. But I never said it was the Asperger’s that was the problem, it was him being a bigot and making too many assumptions without getting any facts first and he was very judgmental and worried too much what people thought of him and he was very closed minded and didn’t care to be educated. That was what killed our relationship. Then I find out he was possibly a covert narcissist because of the crap he did that fit it.
Let’s also say Jayden had it too, he would joke and tease with me and I told him how it made me feel and he didn’t stop. What if his AS kept him from understanding my feelings and how it made me feel so he didn’t stop because he couldn’t understand? Instead of just accepting that it bothers me and quitting it with me, he continued doing it to me expecting me to get used to it because it was “who he is.” What of my mom was right that he also got stuck in his ways and he gets an idea in his head and it’s hard to change it as someone mentioned in her comment in the blog. Also he didn’t want to work and he would spend all his time playing online and he only wanted to spend money on what he wanted than on stuff like food or things he needs and on bills. He would rather spend it on his interest. What if that was his AS too? I knew of one other aspie who would save his money to buy fire agates and he would even go hungry if he had to to buy one because it was his interest and isn’t it in the criteria about it being an impairment and a special interest only becomes a symptom of AS if it causes an impairment so if someone has to starve themselves or neglect their needs or go with out heat or electricity just so they can spend money on their interests or because they don’t want to work can probably count towards the label and every aspie is different. I have even read how some will neglect their families to be with their interests and some will not do their homework and John Robison wrote in is book “Raising Cubby” how his son would not eat at the table because he wanted to be with his interests. I will forget about my children and block the world out with my interest which is being on the computer and reading stuff and writing. I do feel bad about it every time and it’s hard to get away from it so it always feels good when I am away from it because I am out of the house or I go on vacation and I would rather do things on a trip than be stuck in a condo or hotel room because what is the purpose of going on a trip if you don’t want to explore? To me going to some resort and spending all your time at a pool sunbathing and reading and resting and you never leave the resort is not a good vacation but this is how some people do their vacations. I would be looking at brochures and maps to see what is there to do and start making plans. But just because we all have AS doesn’t give us a get out of free jail card to be lazy and neglect our kids or our partners and our responsibilities, instead we can find a time to do our interests, set a timer perhaps and when it goes off, it means it’s time to put it to rest, find balance and just remember our interest isn’t going anywhere, it will still be there when we go back to it. I have seen aspies say online how they don’t want to work because they want to be with their interest and to me this is just being lazy because part of being an adult is to work and not working just because your special interest is more important is not an inability to work. One aspie told me in the group that he feels you are just wasting your time so I told him working is part of life unless you can afford to work part time and still support yourself without any help from the system and if you have lot of money and you don’t have to work at all like rich people. This is just another example of it being an impairment.
If a partner felt they were being ignored by their AS partner because they were spending more time with their interests and their money on it instead of on them, talk to them about it and the AS partner should try and make an effort to be with them more and try and spend some money on their partner like take them out, buy them something, but don’t ask them to get rid of their interests and still let them spend time with them, just help them find a balance and the AS partner would have to be willing to make the effort to try. It’s called a learning attitude.
Also what I wrote before how my mother told me if she told me at 13 I had lost her trust, it wouldn’t have worked because I wouldn’t have cared and just thought it was her problem and she needed to figure it out. This made me feel like a psychopath because they also don’t care about others but my mom told me no I was just trying to figure out the rules and I didn’t understand feelings or how she felt. So just imagine an aspie acting this way in relationships, wouldn’t the partner feel abused? Their partner doesn’t care about them because they don’t understand how they feel.
I remember one NT writing about her aspie how she was sick and her aspie had to head out and he was supposed to pick something up for her but he had forgotten and it was something she needed to get better but he got upset and refused to do it when he got back because it would have broken his routine.
I could remember in my autism group when one aspie said how he got upset when his wife got sick because they were supposed to be going somewhere together and Roger Meyer told him “Now hold it, you are an adult here so you should be handling this maturely. If you were a child, it would be understandable because children don’t understand.” I stepped in and said “I am sure he wasn’t mad at his wife and he was only mad about the plans had changed because it wasn’t her fault she got sick” and he said “But he an adult here, things will happen and won’t always go as planned, what can he do when he makes plans and then it has to change.” I then said “come up with another plan for in case something happens for back up” and he told me that is a good idea and he told the other guy he should always do plan B for in case plan A doesn’t happen.
Now I don’t know if this guy in the group treated his wife wrong or acted mad towards her making her feel bad about herself just because she got sick and refusing to talk to her but even though he had AS, he could come up with other alternate plans for in case something happens that changes the plan so he is mentally prepared. That can be done in AS/NT relationships. Like I say, it’s not a get out of free jail card. After all we are adults so we should be aware that shit happens in life that is beyond our control and it’s not the person’s fault. It’s more understandable when an autistic child behaves that way because they’re children, they don’t understand just like NT children don’t understand so they also get upset with broken promises so the parent has to be careful what they say. My mom used to tell my brothers and I as children we will do this if the weather is nice or she would say she will see and say we will do it if the weather is nice or if nothing else is going on and if there is no other plans.
I remember when I got very tired, Jerry still made me come to work with him to put ads together. Why? because he said I had told him I would do it. But what if I had gotten the flu or gotten a bad headache or an upset stomach or constipation where I had abdominal cramps or what if I had fallen and sprained my ankle so I could barely walk? Shit does happen so would he have still made me come? He was an adult so he should have known these things and understood than be stuck on “But you said you would do this” like a child would. But I have to ask myself if this was Asperger’s or just him being an asshole and being a narcissistic? After all they are like giant children and I felt he was a giant kid with Asperger’s because he seemed to have childhood AS, not adult AS. He did things I would expect in an aspie child because they don’t know any better and they mature as they get older so their traits change. Lot of adult aspies can even pass the Sally Anne test because our brains have matured and we think more logically so we know there is no way Sally would know Anne had placed her ball in the basket if she wasn’t in the room. This is why we argue about this test and say how stupid it is and inaccurate about testing TOM. I even passed this at 15 when I saw it in a Newsweek magazine when they did an article about autism. I have seen other arguments about this test like how do they know Sally didn’t see Anne move the ball? Maybe Sally did see her move it when Anne didn’t think she was looking. I saw this was also saw this test was also testing different perspectives unintentionally and doctors would just assume the person has no TOM.
Just recently I have supposed to come to the basement to my husband after the kids are asleep but I would either forget or get too tired and I would end up going to sleep. Now what if he had gotten mad at me for not coming down like I said I would because he wanted me to? What if he had made me come down anyway despite that I was falling a sleep and I was very tired because my body was sick and just was making me get knocked out every night because I was so tired. What if he was Jerry? He might have made me come down anyway and not care if I was very tired and felt I was knocked out under anesthesia because I told him I would do it. Now would this be due to the Asperger’s or is he just being a jerk?
These women in their comments are trying to separate when to blame it on Asperger’s and where to draw the line for that this is just them being abusive and to stop blaming the condition for their behavior.
Just a reminder than anyone can be an abuser no matter of what condition they have or if they are NT and no matter what race they are or nationality or religion or background they have. But the dilemma people may face is where to draw the line for what is abuse and what is Asperger’s and when do you stop having sympathy for them and when are you the victim. Would it make you intolerant if you left them because you were unhappy and had depression or were stressed out and having anxiety or because you were dealing with low self esteem due to your partner’s criticism? Just when are your feelings right and not wrong? Are you a victim or just not understanding? Are you expecting too much from your partner? How much can you put up with from your partner and where do you draw the line for their behavior? When do you need to toughen and get over it? When is it okay to leave them? There will always be a possibility people will see you as a narcissistic and as an ignorant and un understanding person or think of you as being negative about aspies in general when you talk about your abusive partner who happened to have Asperger’s so it’s best to not mention their condition at all when you talk about it.
So when AS/NT relationships fail, is it because of Asperger’s or because of their personality and lack of learning attitude? What if they had BPD or narcissism or Bipolar, etc. Would it be due to that illness or just a lack of learning attitude and their personality or lack of self awareness? But is it possibly that their illness attributed to the abuse and to the break up? That is what I had been thinking about Asperger’s too and it’s just politically incorrect to even mention it. After all no one wants to be labeled as an abuser and have everyone thinking all aspies are abusers and that we will emotionally neglect you because of lack of TOM and troubles with understanding feelings and our lack of social cues and because of our rigid thinking and black and white thinking and having routines and not liking change and being mind blind. It’s bad enough personality disorders have been stigmatized so we don’t want autism to have that same stigma. I am still not comfortable when crime gets connected to Asperger’s because I don’t want everyone thinking we will commit crimes do to our special interests or because we have meltdowns so we will attack you.